By Keith Windschuttle, Quadrant 12 November 2019
Inventing and Manipulating History
When Julia Gillard was Minister for Education in the Rudd government in 2008 she appointed a committee to rewrite the national schools curriculum from primary school to year 10. When the curriculum’s compulsory Aboriginal content was published it became a controversial issue. The Coalition opposition under Tony Abbott called it “political correctness run riot” and a ”black armband” view of Australian history, saying it placed too much emphasis on indigenous perspectives and very little on the nation’s British and European political and cultural heritage.
Nonetheless, indigenous studies still remain a core concept within the national curriculum. The academics and bureaucrats responsible never gave up their objective to make it compulsory for all Australian schoolchildren. Today, much of the content set in place by Gillard is now being updated to accommodate the arrival of a new and far more radical set of ideas about traditional Aboriginal culture and society. This is largely the result of an acceptance within the education system of the book, Dark Emu, by the self-described indigenous author Bruce Pascoe.
By Peter O’Brien, Quadrant 15 November 2019
Inventing Aboriginal History with the help of Australia’s government funded ABC
Propaganda is most persuasive when it is pervasive. Right now we are being subject to a massive propaganda campaign designed to advance the Aboriginal sovereignty, agenda and it is being masterminded and largely paid for by Their ABC.
I have spent the best part of six months writing a review of Bruce Pascoe’s bestseller Dark Emu, which postulates that Aborigines were not nomadic hunter-gatherers but a sophisticated, sedentary, agricultural society with a pan-continental system of government. The ostensible aim of Dark Emu is to correct a purportedly mistaken view of Aborigines so that we can all move forward together. But the real aim is to foment a sense of grievance among Aborigines, and a sense of guilt among whites, that will enhance the chances of a referendum to enshrine an Aboriginal advisory body into the Constitution. If that happens it will pave the way for judicial activists to continue the work they commenced with the Mabo decision and grant some form of sovereignty to Aborigines. As part of the propaganda campaign, Dark Emu, will become a two-part ABC documentary sometime next year I will speak more of my book Bitter Harvest in the December edition of Quadrant.